Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Well it is chocolate cake # 2 for the month of September and again a birthday cake. But this one is special, this one was for my husband’s birthday!  He is a definite chocolate cake sort of guy.  When I asked him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday, he said the chocolate torte.  We just had it 2 weeks ago for the rest of the September birthday folks!  So after him being adamant, I caved and I made the same cake, but this time I changed it up a little bit.

Chcolate-cake-with-Chocolate-Frosting

This time no whip cream and no frosting with Belgian chocolate.  This time I made it an old-fashioned chocolate birthday cake complete with home-made strawberry jam in the middle. The frosting is a cocoa based frosting, so chocolaty but no melting of actual chocolate required.  Cocoa is a bit messy when it comes to putting it in frosting, but if you start off with whipping the butter and the cocoa together you can avoid the cocoa cloud. The cocoa cloud is what happens when you dry to add the cocoa after you have whipped in some of the icing sugar first – it will fly everywhere!

Chocolate-cake-with-Chocolate-frosting

All this birthday goodness served up at my friend Lisa’s home on her beautiful old china that she received as a birthday gift from her husband earlier this month. What a thoughtful guy to search out this old pattern that her mother had.  Chocolate cake tastes even better served on fine china!

Birthday-Dinner

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting
 
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Author:
Serves: 16 slices
Ingredients
  • Cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk, room temp
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup very hot coffee
  • Frosting:
  • ½ cup salted butter at room temp
  • 3½ cups of icing sugar, sifted
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • ⅓ cup half and half (10%) cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup strawberry jam
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 ℉. Butter and flour 2 - 9" round cake pans.
  2. Cake:
  3. Whisk together in the bowl of a stand mixer the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the hot coffee slowly down the side of the bowl while mixing on low speed. Remove the bowl and using a spatula ensure the batter is well mixed. It will be very thin.
  4. Divide evenly between the 2 pans. Tap gently on the edge of the counter to release air bubbles.
  5. Bake 30 to 32 minutes on bottom rack or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Let cool in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely.
  7. Frosting: Beat butter, cocoa and vanilla. Add ½ the icing sugar and cream beat until combined. Add in the remaining icing sugar and beat until fluffy.
  8. Place first layer on cake plate and spread the jam on top.
  9. Then carefully spread a thin layer of the frosting over the jam.
  10. Add the second layer of cake. Frost the sides and then the top of the cake.
  11. Decorate with sprinkles if so desired.

 

This entry was posted in Cakes.

Cheese Buns

All of the members of our household are big cheese lovers. One of our favourites is Asiago. It is quite a strong cheese and the older and drier it gets, the better it tastes. So when deciding on a cheese to add to bread dough to make cheese buns, it really was quite an easy decision to make.  Asiago it was!

Even the smell of the dough rising filled the house with the aroma of cheese. Once the dough hit the heat of the oven even the dog starting whining. I knew then this was going to be a good choice.

Cheese-Buns

 

Once they were baked, it was very difficult letting them cool before we devoured them. There was left over roast chicken and baby spinach in the fridge, so that was put to good use in building these cheese bun sandwiches. After a busy morning finishing taking the dock out the boys had a very satisfying lunch of chicken salad on fresh cheese buns. They made short order of this stack….I was lucky to get pictures!

Cheese-Bun-sandwiches

These buns would be great along with a pasta dinner or a barbecued steak and salad. Feel free to use any shredded hard cheese of your liking in this recipe. An old cheddar would also be wonderful. Don’t omit the hot sauce though.  It doesn’t give any kick to the buns, just enhances the flavour of the cheese. I think it is the secret ingredient that makes these cheese buns stand out.

Cheese Buns
 
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Author:
Serves: 24 buns
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1½ c warm water (105℉ to 115℉)
  • 2¼ tsp dry yeast
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 2½ cups shredded Asiago or Old Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 4½ - 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg- for brushing tops
Instructions
  1. In bowl of stand mixer add sugar and warm water. Sprinkle yeast on top and let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add oil, hot sauce and egg. Mix well. Stir in 1 cup of the shredded cheese and the parmesan cheese.
  3. Add 4 cups of flour and salt. Mix with dough hook until soft dough forms, adding ½ to 1 cup more of flour until dough ball forms.
  4. Transfer dough to oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a draft-free spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. Turn dough out onto floured surface and punch down. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, reserving 2 tablespoons for topping. Knead cheese in. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Form into balls and place on the parchment lined baking sheets at least 2 inches apart and 12 to a sheet.
  6. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise again, about 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  8. Whisk egg and with a pastry brush, brush tops of buns and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  9. Bake on bottom rack for about 20 minutes until tops are golden.
  10. Transfer immediately from pan to cooling rack.

 

This entry was posted in Bread.

Apple Coffee Cake

It is officially Fall! So that means it’s all about the apples!  The smell of apples and cinnamon baking is the ultimate aroma of fall. It will bring everyone running to the kitchen for a slice of that heavenly smell. There are so many baked goods that you can incorporate apples into, but today it is Apple Coffee cake. Coffee cake with those slices of apples peaking through that lovely maple glaze, like a cake apple sandwich!

Apple-Coffee-Cake

It is perfect for breakfast or dressed up with a maple glaze for a homey dessert. You can use what ever type of apple you have on hand, but you want one that will keep it’s form when baked. I had 2 Ginger Gold apples left from my farmer’s market haul, so that is what I used.  They are definitely a beautiful apple to bake with. Sliced nice and thin with all of that cinnamon mixed in, just delicious!

Apple-Coffee-Cake

This coffee cake is nice and moist with the addition of yogurt in the batter. I used plain yogurt, but you could also use vanilla, which would enhance the vanilla flavour of the cake. There is no mixer required so you could mix this together on a weekend morning and surprise your family with a sweet apple breakfast!

So embrace the season and enjoy your apples!

Apple Coffee Cake
 
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Author:
Serves: 16 slices
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ⅔ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • Glaze:
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp maple extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10 inch bundt pan.
  2. In a medium sized bowl add the yogurt, oil, vanilla and eggs. Beat well and set aside. In a large bowl whisk together the flour,sugar, baking soda,baking powder and salt. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix with a wooden spoon until just blended.
  3. Mix the remaining ¼ cup of white sugar with the cinnamon and toss with the sliced apples.
  4. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Place the sliced apples on top of the batter in an even layer, pressing down into the batter. Cover with remaining cake batter.
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown on top.
  6. Place pan on cooling rack and allow cake to cool for at least 30 minutes before inverting and removing from pan.
  7. Once cake is cool, mix together the glaze and pour over cake.

 

This entry was posted in Cakes.

Autumn Square

Autumn is coming whether we like it or not, so that calls for celebrating all of the flavours that come with the season.  The season of apples is upon us !!!!  There is so much that can be done with applespies,cakes,crisps and cakes. But this recipe is for a square that has apples in it.

Autumn-Squares

Along with the apples there is cinnamon and molasses- 2 of my favourite flavours of autumn. The molasses gives such a tangy sweetness to the squares. The apple is a Ginger Gold, fresh Ontario fruit from our farmer’s market. This was the first time I had used this type of apple in baking and it worked beautifully.  This apple will be making an appearance in future apple episodes, for sure.There is also raisins which give a little chewy texture to the squares. You could substitute dried cranberries for the raisins if you want, I am sure they will be just as delicious.

Autumn-Squares

This square makes a fantastic afternoon snack and I actually had it for breakfast this morning. Well, it does have apples and raisins in it, so it is healthy, right? If you are serving them on a platter, they look pretty dusted with icing sugar.  But if you want to add more flavour to your decoration, sprinkle with maple sugar, a little Cana

Autumn Square
 
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Author:
Serves: 24 squares
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup salted butter
  • 1½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cupCrosby's Fancy molasses
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cup loosely packed grated apples
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350℉ and line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper.
  2. Melt butter and brown sugar in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in the molasses and raisins.
  3. Cool until warm.
  4. Mix in the eggs with the wooden spoon until well incorporated.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  6. Add to the saucepan and stir until about half mixed in, then add in grated apples. Continue stirring until well blended.
  7. Spread into parchment lined pan and bake at 350℉ for 25 - 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  8. Place on cooling rack. Sprinkle with maple sugar or icing sugar before serving.

 

 

This entry was posted in Bars.

Multigrain Honey Bread

I have been working on a multigrain bread recipe using honey for a while and I have ended up going back to my original idea….using Red River cereal. I had been given a recipe about 20 years ago that included Red River cereal as one of the ingredients. Unfortunately that recipe made 5 loaves of bread and my family found it to be quite heavy. So by merging a whole wheat honey recipe into this old recipe I have come up with this one.

Multigrain-Honey-Bread

Red River cereal is a very old Canadian cereal, it has been around since 1924 and is named after the Red River in Manitoba where it originated. The ingredients of Red River Cereal are: Cracked Wheat,Cracked Rye,Cracked Flax and Whole Flax. I only use it for bread dough and you can also add it in small amounts to any dough/muffin recipe to give it a healthy boost.As it contains whole grains it is best to keep it in the freezer, where it will keep fresh for months.

Multigrain-Honey-Bread

Making your own bread is a very satisfying feeling. You know the ingredients you have used and most of them you can actually pronounce! So if you haven’t tried making bread from scratch, I strongly recommend you give it a go.  It really isn’t difficult, just a little time consuming.  If you don’t have a stand mixer, this recipe can all be done by hand using a wooden spoon and your hands to do the kneading.  Kneading bread is an awesome stress releaser and sometimes I will do it by hand just to relax.

And of course, nothing smells quite like bread fresh from the oven!

Multigrain Honey Bread
 
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Author:
Serves: 2 loaves
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Red River Cereal
  • 1½ cup boiling water
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 4½- 5½ cups all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Add the cereal to the one cup of boiling water. Let this stand for at least 15 minutes, stirring often until the water has almost absorbed and cereal is just warm.
  2. In the meantime in the bowl of a stand mixer dissolve yeast in warm water. Add honey, and stir well. After it has bloomed stir in the canola oil. Add 4 cups of flour and with the dough hook knead until the dough pulls away from the sides. Add additional flour tablespoon at a time until the dough pulls away. When dough is smooth and elastic, place it in a well oiled bowl. Turn it several times in the bowl to coat the surface of the dough with oil, and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk about 1½ hour.
  3. Punch down the dough. Shape into two loaves, and place into two well greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise until dough is 1 to 1½ inches above pans.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees for conventional. Place pans on bottom rack and now reduce oven temp to 375 degrees .
  5. Bake, rotating pans after 20 minutes, until tops are golden brown and internal temperature reaches 205 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 45 minutes total. Transfer to wire racks. Let cool slightly; turn out onto cooling rack.
  6. Cool completely before slicing.

 

This entry was posted in Bread.

Saturday Sprinkles

Today I had a young visitor for the afternoon and this lovely young lady insisted that we bake something!  So Frosted Sugar Cookies were definitely in order. So while her Mom did her shopping, Ella and I were very busy decorating cookies.  I was only allowed to put the frosting on while Ella was in charge of sprinkles.  Now when a 7 yr old little girl is put in charge of sprinkles you can only guess what happened….SPRINKLES EVERYWHERE!!!

Saturday-Sprinkles

There were many bottles of sprinkles retrieved from the cupboard and it was determined that the thicker the layer of sprinkles, the better the cookies would taste. Sprinkles should also be combined in as many colour combinations as possible, just in case you were wondering. Those little hands could sure move fast…she was sprinkling as fast as I could spread the frosting.

Saturday-Sprinkles-

 

Now I have posted these Frosted Sugar Cookies before, but they definitely have their party clothes on today. Click here to get the recipe. Today I added some lime zest along with the lemon zest and they were definitely fruity. Also the icing was coloured with a 2 crushed raspberries- nice natural colouring.

Saturday-Sprinkles-

So I hope you enjoyed our Saturday afternoon art work, we sure had fun!

 

 

This entry was posted in Cookies.

Chocolate Raspberry Torte

The beginning of September is a very busy birthday season in our circle of friends.  So 3 birthdays were just the reason to make this fabulous chocolate torte. It is the ultimate birthday cake for the chocolate lovers in your life.

The cocoa in the cake layers along with the milk chocolate in the frosting compliment each other.  The fluffy raspberry filling is the perfect contrast to all of that chocolate. The combination is what makes it such a stellar cake.

Chocolate-Raspberry-Torte

The raspberry filling alone is star worthy!  It is fantastic on just about anything, especially a spoon! When you spread it on the layers be sure not to spread it right to the edges otherwise it will bleed into the frosting.  You will have a little left over so save it for decorating the slices when serving.

Raspberry-Filling

 

The simple frosting of melted chocolate and sour cream seems too good to be true, but trust me it really is that simple. If the frosting stiffens too much to spread, just microwave it for  10 seconds and stir. Be sure and use the best quality milk chocolate you can find..Belgian is my preference. It is important that the cake be refrigerated at least 1 hour in order for the flavours to meld together.  If you can, it is best that the cake be made a day ahead.

Chocolate-Raspberry-Torte

 

Decorated with simple white chocolate shavings will bring this to the spectacular level.So for the next birthday of someone special in your life you really do need to make this amazing cake…you won’t be disappointed.

Chocolate Raspberry Torte
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 16 slices
Ingredients
  • Cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk, room temp
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup very hot coffee
  • Filling:
  • 1½ cup whipping cream (35%)
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ½ pint raspberries
  • Frosting:
  • 1½ cups milk chocolate chips
  • ¾ sour cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 ℉. Butter and flour 2 - 9" round cake pans.
  2. Cake:
  3. Whisk together in the bowl of a stand mixer the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the hot coffee slowly down the side of the bowl while mixing on low speed. Remove the bowl and using a spatula ensure the batter is well mixed. It will be very thin.
  4. Divide evenly between the 2 pans. Tap gently on the edge of the counter to release air bubbles.
  5. Bake 30 to 32 minutes on bottom rack or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Cool on rack for 10 minutes, then remove cakes from pan to rack to cool completely.
  7. Filling:
  8. In a small bowl mash raspberries with 1 tbsp of sugar. Put aside.
  9. Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form,then add icing sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form.
  10. Fold in mashed berries with spatula.
  11. Assemble cake:
  12. Cut each layer of cake in half horizontally.
  13. Place bottom of one layer on cake plate. Spread ⅓ of filling on first layer. Add second layer of cake.
  14. Spread ⅓ layer of filling. Continue layering ending with cut side of top layer down.
  15. Frosting:
  16. In a small glass bowl over simmering water, melt chocolate chips stirring until smooth. Remove bowl and set on pot holder and whisk in sour cream. If mixture thickens too quickly place over simmering water again and stir until creamy.
  17. Using an offset spatula frost top and side of cake.
  18. Decorate with chocolate curls,whipped cream or raspberries.
  19. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted in Cakes.

Potato and Corn Frittata

Summer is still in full swing and with this heat barbecuing is the best way to avoid the heat.  But when you have left over roasted potatoes and a few cobs of corn and you really don’t want another sausage – what do you make for dinner?  You make a frittata of course!  Yes, it does involve turning on the oven, but believe me it will be worth it.  You will have a filling dinner and left overs for lunch. This frittata makes a hearty breakfast as well…it is perfect any time of the day.

Potato-and-Corn-Frittata

If you don’t have any leftovers feel free to roast some baby potatoes and boil up some cobs of corns. Fry some onions and grate some cheese and you are on your way to a bubbly cheesy dish of goodness. All that is missing is the egg mixture which will hold all of these ingredients together.  A little time spent in the oven and this will be your reward.

Potato-and-Corn-Frittata

I used Asiago cheese as that is what was in the fridge, but an old cheddar would be great as well. You could add other vegetables as well with the onions, mushrooms would be great.  Any way you decide to bake this frittata it will be wonderful. Served with some fresh from the garden tomatoes, dinner is ready!

Potato-and-Corn-Frittata

Potato and Corn Frittata
 
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Author:
Serves: 8 slices
Ingredients
  • ¾ lb baby potatoes- roasted and diced
  • 2 cobs of corn, roasted or steamed, kernels cut off
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚. Lightly butter a 9" deep pie plate.
  2. In small frying pan, sauté onions in olive oil until golden.
  3. Place diced potatoes, corn and sautéed onion in bottom of buttered pie plate.
  4. Sprinkle with cheese and press down into plate.
  5. Mix together in small bowl the eggs, milk and pepper. Pour slowly over the potato mixture.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.

 

 

This entry was posted in Eggs.